Date of Award
Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)
School of Music
Mary Jean Speare
While Liszt has been recognized as central to Hungary’s place in Western music, Bartók has been credited with composing Hungary’s authentic nationalistic music. Liszt’s role in Hungarian nationalistic music and his influence on Bartók have only recently been given serious attention. Musicologists are beginning to concede that Liszt’s ‘nationalistic’ source—though a hybrid of styles—constituted a legitimate nationalistic style worthy of research. The author examines two transitional piano pieces composed by the respective composers: Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies and Bartók’s Fifteen Hungarian Peasant Songs. He draws attention to similarities in the genesis of the works, in the role each work played in the respective composers’ compositional development, and in compositional elements of each work. He shows through correspondence, anecdotal accounts, and the implication of various biographical facts how each of the two composers was at least partially motivated by personal patriotism. He also notes the equally strong characteristic of musical progressiveness in evidence in the works of both composers. Finally, the author compares the two piano works, referencing examples of tonal, rhythmic, and idiomatic progressiveness in each.
Hill, David B., "The Hungarian Rhapsodies and the 15 Hungarian Peasant Songs: Historical and Ideological Parallels Between Liszt and Bartók" (2015). Dissertations. 38.